I’ve been thinking about it since last week but finally today I made a decision about our summer rhythm. This may not seem like a big deal but without it, a plan that we can work towards, things tend to go badly around here.
We didn’t have a great start to our day today and that was the crunch moment, how are our days going to go so that we all know what to expect and we can avoid some of the arguments that seem to be springing up around every day stuff? I hate the feeling of scratchiness that comes when we are all floating a bit aimlessly, none of us know what to expect so we all argue and complain at each other. I’ve been mulling this over for the last week or so but today the time for action had come, no more dillydallying missy. I explained our new ‘schedule’ to Huwyl and honestly his face went from angry sad boy to beaming boy. He even said “Do you see how my face is shining now?” and I did.
So for anyone who would like to know what we are (mostly) going to be up to around these parts, here it is:
Yoga (I’ve been using the Yoga kids book and really enjoying it)
Morning song and shared stories
Morning activity (today that was baking bread)
Table work – this covers any written or structured project that we are working on as part of homeschool. I’ve decided to simply continue on with our school throughout the summer as the general idea is that it really isn’t too onerous and it gives us a sense of flexibility about how much work we do during the year. It also helps us to have a clear structure to our days, which we seem to need. Our school week is basically 3 days long as we meet with our homeschool group on a Friday and we are currently doing a story telling workshop on a Monday morning.
Quiet time (in separate rooms so that Mummy gets quiet time too)
Art or craft project
Outside time – most days this will be swimming unless the weather is too cool as we are members of a local club this year
Dinner prep (playing on the deck or some tv time for the boys)
Free play/Clean up (guess who’ll be doing what)
Daddy home at about 6.30
As I write this we are half way through our day and having quiet time. It is a sweltering day and having the chance for a little down time is utter bliss and much needed. I’ve started to realise that I’ve been feeling pretty fried (mentally and physically with the increasing heat) and need to build in some breaks in our day. I know that having a strategy for the day won’t resolve all the day to day issues of having kids around 24/7, we get grumpy with each other, they fight, I lose my patience etc etc
But I do think this gives us a chance of having a good and productive day every day. I’m already starting to plan out what cooking projects we can do in the mornings (tomorrow rhubarb compote and maybe muffins) and looking at The Artful Parent and others for art and crafts ideas (I’ll be popping the links on Pinterest if anyone is looking for similar things to do).
Honestly I do wish that we could just drift happily through our day in a magical haze but that isn’t our reality. When we have a plan, when I can look at our day and say ‘this is what we achieved’ I feel altogether more positive and am inclined to forget the yucky bits. When I think “today we made bread together, we completed a lesson in All About Spelling, we practiced handwriting and we did some water colour painting” I feel good. Maybe I’m an overachiever but I’m at peace with that, especially when I see how much better the boys do when they know what to expect.
Our rhythm will have to change again once the build is in full swing and we begin to take our first steps along the road of hobby farming but I’m sure we can work it out. Plus spending time on our land takes care of Physical Education, Nature Study, Science and Outside Time – that’s a lot of ticks!
As I write this, decompressing slowly from a busy and slightly tense morning, I am beginning to remember what is great about our day. I am remembering how lucky I am, how much I like my two crazy, challenging, beautiful boys and that I’m looking forward to our full afternoon.
But not yet. Not quite yet.